Monday May 29, 2023

JI accuses PPP of pre-poll rigging for local government elections

By Our Correspondent
June 23, 2022

The Karachi Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) emir, Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, on Wednesday alleged that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had initiated efforts to rig the local government elections, in case the elections were not delayed.

“The Pakistan Peoples Party has installed its party workers as returning officers [ROs] who are rejecting nomination papers of strong opponents,” said Rehman as he addressed a press conference at the Idara Noor-e-Haq, the JI Karachi headquarters.

In multiple cases, nomination papers of candidates were rejected without assigning any reason, the JI leader maintained. “In addition, there is no platform for the candidates to appeal against the decision of such returning officers.”

Rehman went on to claim that in some cases, the candidates were declared absent despite the fact that they were present at the time of the scrutiny of their papers.

Calling such tactics a form of fascism, he said the worst situation in this regard was in Ibrahim Hyderi Town where an RO, Murad Ali, had been rejecting nomination papers of candidates without any justification to please the ruling PPP.

He also accused RO Yar Muhammad Buledi for UCs 1 to 4 in Chaneser Town, and RO Ghulam Dastagir in Manghopir Town of serving the PPP. “Similar situation was witnessed in Gadap Town.”

Raising the issue of voter lists, Rehman said the Election Commission of Pakistan was responsible to provide the voter lists but currently there was all confusion in this regard.

“Officials available are confusing the candidates with finalised and not-finalised lists,” the JI city chief said. “The ECP should fulfil its duty and play its due role instead of playing the role of a spectator or a supporter of the PPP government.”

He also opposed the idea of holding the by-poll for NA-245 on July 27 after the entire mega city had gone through the local bodies elections on July 24. “It would be impossible for the stakeholders to run two campaigns separately at the same time,” he said.

Rehman said all the ruling parties in the Center and Sindh had been exposed as they were trying to have the local government elections delayed. “The PPP doesn't want to delegate powers, the MQM [Muttahida Qaumi Movement] is afraid of its future so is the PTI [Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf]. So the PTI doesn't play the role of opposition while other parties are trying their best to delay the polls,” he remarked.